Jobs & Investment fraud results in $1 million in losses to Australians in one week

Maria Nikolova

The latest numbers from Scamwatch are dismal, as Australians report $1 million in losses due to jobs & investment scams in the week to July 16, 2017.

Scamwatch, which is run by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has just highlighted the latest trends with regard to fraudulent activities targeting Australians.

The data, published several hours ago, show that investment fraud continues to cost large sums of money to Australians, as they reported having lost $1 million to jobs & investments scams in the week from July 10 to July 16, 2017.

The numbers fit with a broader trend, as previous reports by Scamwatch have shown that Australians lost $13,286,444 to investment scams in the first six months of 2017. The number of reports submitted to the ACCC during the six-month period was 910, with those between 35 and 44 years of age submitting the highest number of reports, whereas people aged over 65 being the second most active group in this respect.

The first week of July (July 3 – July 9) saw Australians lose $650,000 to fraudulent investment schemes.

The latest results are in line with the findings in ACCC’s annual report on scam activity for 2016, which shows a jump of 47% in the number of scam reports in 2016 compared to 2015. Losses due to investment scams reached $23.6 million last year.

The numbers are not conclusive since many victims do not report their experiences. In 2016, the ACCC and the Australian Cybercrime Online Reporting Network (ACORN) received a total of 200,103 reports about scams. Losses reported to Scamwatch, ACORN and from other scam disruption programs total approximately $300 million.

The bulk of the losses due to cold calling related to offers of investment opportunities in binary options. Binary options fraud is amid the three most popular investment scams according to Scamwatch.

“If you agree they direct you to a website with a login, account details and a trading platform. They appear to put your money into the account and demonstrate a number of successful trades to encourage you to invest greater sums. Then your money begins to disappear and so too does the scammer”, the ACCC warns with regard to the tactics used by binary options fraudsters.

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